the death of Steve Jobs: what matters most

This is truly an overdue story and it is not timely anymore, but who cares?

Upon the death of Steve Jobs, every Facebook status and Twitter update mentioned his death – he was a great guy, invented this and that, and lost the battle with pancreatic cancer. Bombarded with ‘how great Steve Jobs was’, I tuned out. Why so much fuss? I don’t understand. Yes, he invented Apple and we are forever grateful to him, but I still don’t get it why so many people grieved over the man that they barely knew – only from TV and the papers.

Not once I click on those ‘death of Steve Jobs’ articles, until today.

The title caught my interest: “Steve Jobs wasn’t great, He wasn’t even close”.

While I have seen many photos of Steve Jobs being compared with millions poor people who die (see below), the story above was the first ‘personal statement’ of someone who explicitly says that he doesn’t like Steve Jobs.

So here’s the question: what matters?

While Steve Jobs is praised throughout the world, imparting his words of wisdom in success, and millions of people mourn over his death (I still think it’s just superficial though), does it really matter? Yet not once I read an article about his family: his wife or children talking how great he is as a husband and as a father. I’m not skeptical, and if this article is out there and I just happen not reading it, well, apologies. But my point is: does it matter how successful you are in the eyes of the world? Isn’t your life better recognised by the ones who are closest to you?

I learn about this the other day from my church friend: “You have to be red enough to be red.” If Steve Jobs is really that great, why there are so many media being cynical about him? Take Mother Theresa for example, I think she’s ‘red enough’ that no one can tell that she’s pink, magenta, or fuchsia. She sacrificed literally her life to help other poor people in India. I wonder, is Steve Jobs that ‘red’?

Although he invented the great Apple, until now I’m still drawn to the death of Randy Pausch, the guy who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer as well. Why his death impacted me more, although they were both public figures, you ask? Because Randy Pausch imparted a legacy. He left his message in a bottle saying life is not supposed to be lived alone. Life is not only lived to pursue your own successes, goals, and dreams. Life is meant to enable other people’s dreams.

I’m not trying to take sides here, I don’t even know Steve Jobs, it’s not my place to judge, and my closest connection to him is my MacBook white, iPod Nano, and iPhone 3Gs. And don’t take me wrong; I am grateful to Steve Jobs, I am forever in debt with him (well, this is exaggerated) for creating the third apple that changed the world. But isn’t it a group effort? What about his colleagues, his Apple team? I just feel that his death is over exaggerated, that’s all.

If people say, “Three apples changed the world. The first one tempted Eve, the second inspired Newton and the third was offered to the world by Steve Jobs.” I’ll add, “The first one symbolised a choice, the second proved serendipity, and the third inspired creativity.”

Steve Jobs was a successful person. But I wonder where would he spend the eternity. And I think, that’s what matters.

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